HDB revises occupancy cap for renting out HDB flats and commercial property living quarters

HDB flat owners renting out their flats or bedrooms to unrelated persons (who are not from the same family unit), from 1 May 2018,  will need to adhere to the new occupancy cap of 6.

This will put HDB’s cap in line with URA’s cap of 6 persons for private residential properties which are rented out (read: URA Revises Occupancy Cap to Limit the Number of Unrelated Tenants). This cap will also apply to all living quarters of HDB commercial properties that are being rented out.

HDB occupancy cap, then and now

From 1 May 2018, the occupancy cap for 4-room and larger HDB flats being rented out will be reduced to 6 persons, from the current maximum of 9 persons. The cap for 3-room and smaller flats remains unchanged at 6 persons and 4 persons respectively.

The cap will take effect for all new and renewal applications submitted from 1 May 2018. For cases approved before 1 May 2018, the revised cap will apply upon renewal of the arrangement to rent out or when there are changes in the occupants. New occupants cannot be included if the occupancy cap has been reached.

Why the change?

HDB stated that “the changes seek to minimise disamenities caused by overcrowding, and to maintain a conducive living environment in our public housing estates”.

Prior approval required for renting out bedroom(s) and living quarters, then and now

Previously, flat owners renting out their bedrooms do not need to obtain HDB’s approval. These flat owners and also rental commercial property tenants who rent out their bedroom(s) and living quarters were merely required to register within 7 days from the start date of the tenancy. Owners of HDB commercial properties were not required to do so.

From 1 May 2018, however, all flat owners as well as all HDB commercial property owners and tenants, will be required to seek HDB’s approval before the commencement of tenancy.

Application fees will apply

HDB stated that applications to rent out HDB flats, bedrooms or living quarters of commercial properties may be submitted online via HDB’s e-services. The outcome of the application will be made known immediately. An administrative fee is payable with each application, at $10 per bedroom or $20 for the whole flat rented out. To apply to rent out living quarters (whole or partial) in HDB commercial properties, the administrative fee is $100 per application.